The very sight of drop handle bars and minimalist saddles on road bicycles make most people croon in discomfort about taking up cycling. Who do these superior design factors appeal to then? It appeals to riders who know what the worth of a road bike is.
Let us understand what the purpose of road bikes are. Let me clarify that they are not meant only for racing or professional cycling alone. A road bike is meant for a traveller who prefers only a bicycle for transport. Choosing a bicycle itself has slowed you down in comparison to a motorcycle, car, train, plane, helicopter or even a space ship. To make up for that lost time, you choose to get on a road bike. Road bike rides are often synonymous with ‘stopwatch.’
A road bike is simply fast because of its frame design and the skinny tires. Yes, the same skinny tires that you think won’t be stable enough on roads. These tires are used in international road races and they have never been known to randomly defy gravity. Speaking from personal experience, they are what get you to your destination on time.
The other apparent discomfort is posed by the drop handlebars. What people fail to realize is that riding a hundred kilometres with you wrist gripping the handle in one position is what poses discomfort. A drop handle bar has multiple gripping positions that relax your wrist and shoulders over long rides. The positions also offer you superior aerodynamics on that wide open highway with head winds which usually ends up knocking the wind out of you on any upright positioned bicycle.
Yes, there is a certain level of skill that is required to stay on a road bicycle and like all skills, they can be easily gained through practise. For someone who has finished long rides on supersized steel frames road bikes that the Indian manufacturers offered up until a decade go on, l will still stand by a road bike and say they are not uncomfortable and if any of you MTB riders out there are considering upgrading to a road bike, then you have in reality already made up your mind. It is now only up to you to get out and ride a road bike to know that you truly deserve that fast and light a bicycle for your next bike trip, even if it is just that quick ride on a Saturday morning.